McIlroy's Outstanding Play Leads to JBU Victories over Peru State, SAGU
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 14, 2012) — Erin McIlroy's 14 kills paced JBU to its 15 victory in 17 games as the Golden Eagles fought off the Lions of Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas), 3-1 (27-25, 25-10, 23-25, 25-20) after a balanced offensive output helped JBU cruise to a relatively easy 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-23) win over Peru State (Neb.) in the first day of the John Brown University Invitational.
The Golden Eagles raced out to a quick lead in its first match of the day when JBU built an 11-point advantage (22-11) in game one. Audrey Dearien recorded seven of her team-leading 10 kills in the first set.
Game two featured five ties early in the set as both squads were deadlocked at 10. An Erin Didier service ace and a Wildcat error game JBU a two-point advantage, one the Golden Eagles would never relinquish. John Brown would net 13 of the next 22 points en route to a second-set victory.
Peru State made one final push for a set victory in game three, but Didier took over the game, launching seven kills in the final frame as JBU prevailed 25-23.
Dearien led the match with 10 kills. She also included 10 digs. Didier added nine kills, as did McIlroy. Becca Young paced JBU with 17 digs while Kailey Bain's 22 assists was a match-high.
The second match of the evening featured much more drama as Southwestern Assemblies of God (SAGU) pushed JBU to four games before ultimately falling, 3-1.
The first set featured a dramatic eight ties before Libby Blasingame's kill prior to a Lion error catapulted JBU to the 1-0 match lead.
The second set was a much different story. Tied at one apiece, Erin Didier's strong serving helped John Brown to nine straight points for a 10-1 lead. SAGU could only manage 8 kills on 16 attempts (.000 attack percentage) as the Blue and Gold crushed the visiting Lions 25-10, setting them up for another sweep.
The visitors had other ideas, however, as SAGU came roaring back, posting a victory of its own. The Golden Eagles had its opportunities to finish the sweep, but could only muster a .222 hitting percentage. Despite the Lions' 21-13 advantage, JBU showed poise and attempted an admiral comeback.
After a 7-2 run and down by only three points (23-20), the Lions finally put away John Brown, 25-23.
Determined not to allow the match to advance to a fifth and deciding set, Blasingame, Didier and Dearien led JBU to a 10-point advantage (16-6) midway through the fourth game. The Lions would make one final push, but was ultimately denied as the Blue and Gold rolled to yet another victory.
With the pair of wins, John Brown now stands at 15-2, already only three games shy of its 2011 victory output.
Four Golden Eagles netted double-digit kills as McIlroy paced JBU with 14, followed by Dearien's 13. Didier and Blasingame each added 11. Bain and Adams teams up for a solid passing performance as the duo posted 24 and 18 assists, respectively.
"I was able to have a good night mainly because of my setter Kailey (Bain)," admitted McIlroy. She was able to feed me the ball in just the right places at the right times. Thankfully, I was able to put them away.
"I can't overemphasize what a great job our defense did tonight. We hitters couldn't put up our numbers without them. I was pleased at our resilience tonight; we fell in the third game but put them away quickly in the fourth before they could mount a sizable comeback."
Young's 19 digs led all players.
JBU will match up with Wiley (Texas) and NCAA II-bound Southern Nazarene (Okla.) on the second and final day of the John Brown University Invitational. Its first game is slated for 1:00 p.m. before finishing against the Crimson Storm at 7:00 p.m.
The Golden Eagles will look to exact revenge against Wiley who handed JBU one of its two defeats on the season on (3-1) on Aug. 25 in Graham, Texas.
"Wiley is a tough opponent," McIlroy added. "We'll come out prepared and hopefully our discipline will set us up for better results this time around."